Palsgrave, John

, a polite scholar, who flourished in the reigns of Henry VII. and VIII. was a native of London, and educated there in grammar. He afterwards studied logic and philosophy at Cambridge, at which university he resided till he had attained the degree of bachelor of arts; after which he went to Paris, where he spent several years in the study of philosophical and other learning, took the degree of master of arts, and acquired such excellence in the French tongue, that, in 1514, when a treaty of marriage was negotiated between Louis XII. kinpr of France, and the princess Mary, sister of king Henry VIII. of England, Mr. Palsgrave was chosen to be her tutor in that language. But Louis XII. dying almost immediately after his marriage, Palsgrave attended his fair


Pilkington, by Fuseli.

| pupil back to England, where he taught the French language to many of the young nobility, and was appointed by the king one of his chaplains in ordinary. He is said also to have obtained some church preferments, but we know only of the prebend of Portpoole, in the church of St. Paul’s, which was bestowed upon him in April 1514, and the living of St. Dunstan’s in the East, given to him by archbishop Cranmer in 1553. In 1531, he settled at Oxford for some time, and the next year was incorporated master of arts in that university, as he had before been in that of Paris; and a few days after was admitted to the degree of bachelor of divinity. At this time he was highly esteemed for his learning; and was the first author who reduced the French tongue under grammatical rules, or that had attempted to fix it to any kind of standard. This he executed with great ingenuity and success, in a large work which he published in that language at London, entitled “L’Eclaircissement de la Language Fran9ois,” containing three books, in a thick folio, 1530, to which he has prefixed a large introduction in English. This work is now extremely scarce. In the dedication he says that he had written two books on the subject before; one dedicated to his pupil Mary, the other to Charles Brandon duke of Suffolk. He made a literal translation into English of a Latin comedy called “Acolastus,” written by Fullonius, and published it in 1540. He is said also to have written some “Epistles.

When Mr. Palsgrave was born, or to what age he lived, are particulars which we have not been able to trace; yet his death probably happened before September 1554, as in that month Edmond Brygotte, S. T. P. was collated to the prebend of Portpoole “per mortem Joh. Pallgrave.1


Ath. Ox. vol. I. new edition.—Tanner.—Ames’s Typographical Antiquities. —Cole’s ms Athenæ in Brit. Ms.